UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania. – Penn State Women’s Soccer alumnus Kerry Abello was selected as a Big Ten conference nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award announced Monday.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program honors senior female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their college careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership.
Abello was one of 577 women nominated by their school for the national award and is now one of 53 Division I nominees selected by a conference. The conference offices then reviewed all nominees from their member schools, and the Big Ten selected Abello as their nominee based on her outstanding accomplishments during her college career.
Last fall, Abello graduated from Penn State and Schreyer Honors College with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a dual major in science and Spanish. As a student, she trained in the biomedical engineering lab and conducted her own experiments regarding cancer cell research.
She became the first female player to earn four Academic All-America honors and is the second in the history of the PSU women’s soccer program to earn three first-team Academic All-America honors.
In 2021, Abello also became the third Nittany Lion named CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year in consecutive years.
A five-year letter winner and two-time captain for Penn State, Abello has been a member of two Big Ten Championship teams and two Big Ten Tournament Championship teams. During her career as a Nittany Lion, she played 92 games with 70 starts while tallying 17 goals and 10 assists.
The Batavia, Illinois native is a three-time All-Big Ten winner, and in 2020 she received the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship Award. She is also a three-time All-North Region winner and earned first-team designation in her senior college season.
Her time at Penn State also saw her receive the Big Ten Medal of Honor and Senior CLASS Award All-American honors.
Abello was also active on campus and in the community as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) THON Committee.
After her brilliant academic and athletic career at Penn State, Abello now plays professionally for the National Women’s Soccer League, Orlando Pride. After retiring from football, Abello plans to attend medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon.
Then, the conference-level nominations will go to the selection committee, which will choose the top 10 honorees from each of the three NCAA divisions. The NCAA will announce the top 30 honorees in October.
Among these 30 candidates, the selection committee determines the first three finalists of each division. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the Woman of the Year from the nine finalists. The 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at an awards ceremony at the NCAA convention in January.